Thursday, March 27, 2014

My Adventures at the CACF (and recipes!)

Good day everyone!

Last weekend I was lucky enough to be a part of the California Artisan Cheese Festival in Petaluma. I wanted to share some pictures and other fun bits with you here! Take a look :)

On Friday evening, Nancy Brunner from the Whole Foods Market in Petaluma and I (along with a few volunteers) built the "Fantasy Cheese Table" for the Meet the Cheesemaker event. It was quite a lot of fun. I got to try some new cheeses and meet some new people... Here are some pictures of the table.


Pretty cool right? Then on Saturday, I taught a class called "Cheese All Ways" in which I taught how to make three different meals with cheese. The first meal I taught was the Lemon Ricotta Pancakes with sheep's milk ricotta from Bellwether Farms. Here's the recipe:

Lemon Ricotta Pancakes with Fresh Blueberries
(serves two)

¾ cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
¼ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar
1 cup Bellwether Farms sheep’s milk ricotta (or cow’s milk if you prefer)
2 eggs
2/3 cup milk
1 lemon, zested and juiced
Butter, for griddle
Fresh blueberries

Preheat a nonstick griddle or skillet.
Combine first five ingredients in a small bowl. Whisk the ricotta, eggs, milk, lemon juice, and zest together in a large bowl. Whisk the dry mixture into the wet ingredients until just mixed. Blueberries can be added into your batter here, or you can save them for a fresh garnish.

The last picture is of my lovely assistants - Heather and Sam. They were troopers and helped me make the pancakes while I talked to the class. It was an added bonus that they were sure not to set off any fire alarms! Thank you both for your help. :)

The next "meal" I made was a picnic lunch. I paired some cheeses with some other food products to make a tasty lunch.

On the first plate I paired Mt Tam with peach preserves and Bermuda Triangle with fresh grapes and pear:

On the second plate I paired San Joaquin Gold with the Casalingo Creminelli Salame and the Bay Blue with orange blossom honey and dates:

The pairings were quite tasty and everyone seemed to really enjoy them.

And for the final meal, I made two different fondues - a goat cheese fondue and a "classic" fondue using only California cheeses. Again, I was terrible about taking pictures, but here's one:

The one on the left is the "classic" and the one on the right is the goat cheese. I served these with sliced baguette and a crudité platter. Here are the recipes:

California “Classic” Fondue
(serves 4 to 6)

 ¾ pound Wagon Wheel  from Cowgirl Creamery shredded
¼ pound San Geronimo from Nicasio Valley Cheese Company shredded
~2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 garlic clove
1 cup dry white wine

Coat the cheeses with cornstarch in a small bowl and set aside. Rub fondue pot with garlic clove, then discard (or keep in the pot for a fun surprise!) Over medium heat, add the wine and bring to a gentle simmer. Gradually stir in cheese and stir continuously until the cheese melts smoothly. Your fondue is ready! Dip away.


Goat Cheese Fondue
(serves 6)

1 ½ cups whipping cream
11oz Redwood Hill Farm chevre
1 sprig fresh rosemary
Salt and black pepper to taste

In a small pot, bring the whipping cream to a simmer. Remove the pot from heat. Crumble the chevre into the cream and whisk until smooth. Add the sprig of rosemary as well as the salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy!

All in all the class was a great success. People left full and satisfied and had many of their cheese questions answered. I had a great time with them all.

I hope you enjoyed this fun little post. Until next time, eat, drink and be happy!!